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(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

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Fate

Deep in the man sits fast his fate
To mould his fortunes, mean or great:
Unknown to Cromwell as to me
Was Cromwell's measure or degree;
Unknown to him as to his horse,
If he than his groom be better or worse.
He works, plots, fights, in rude affairs,
With squires, lords, kings, his craft compares,
Till late he learned, through doubt and fear,
Broad England harbored not his peer:
Obeying time, the last to own
The Genius from its cloudy throne.
For the prevision is allied
Unto the thing so signified;
Or say, the foresight that awaits
Is the same Genius that creates.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: horse, fate, fear, time, work

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Comments about this poem (Compensation by Ralph Waldo Emerson )

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  • Brittney Mahoney (4/29/2013 3:11:00 PM)

    this is a great poem

    2 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Meshack Bankole (4/29/2013 10:05:00 AM)

    Even our degree and cadre in life- the fate is obscure like the morrow that no one can peep through. Good work poet Ralph

  • Is It Poetry (4/29/2013 6:57:00 AM)

    Contridictions,
    as to fate or a choice.
    Choice shows fear,
    where fate,
    has eyes that look out
    from the soul.
    Destiny,
    has no peer from
    shore to shore........iip

  • Sana Hernandez (4/29/2013 3:03:00 AM)

    Fate and Destiny are different. They just lead to the same place. I think that Fate never changes, it is the road you were born on, the beginning. It will stay the same, for a long time you will go in the same direction, Destiny on the other hand, does change, with you. It makes you decide, it lets you see either the Stop. Slow Down, or Go signs in life by giving you unconscious signs while you're on the road of Fate. The opportune moment is when Destiny is waiting at the end of the road, and fate has led you to a fork in the road, the opportunity depends on which side you take. Good or Bad. (It always comes down to that.) Saint or Sinner? The Finale (Fate) depends on the decisions (Destiny.)
    -SOH

  • Manonton Dalan (4/29/2012 2:30:00 AM)

    very interesting to read, reflection of the past.

  • Unwritten Soul (4/29/2011 11:39:00 PM)

    Flaunt by the poem...Well Arranged with handful and beautiful :) :) ...If fate is a cloth, destiny will be a bundle of thread while the texture and the way of the cloth fabricated always depend how the owner make it final...we have choice to make different we have right to do what we want as long as we try to make something better, as destiny is fine to make a comfortable fate to wear...Still the final fate hold by God, but He let us try first to choose what we want to have...Then the final end will come and sealed as final fate and sometimes fate is so unavoidable....

  • Mohammad Akmal Nazir (4/29/2011 9:34:00 PM)

    It is a great poem. Fate is everything in human life. It can make or mar it. We are nothing but puppets in its hand.
    A wise and thought provoking write indeed.

  • Ramesh T A (4/29/2011 4:55:00 PM)

    A different poem from Emerson noted for Nature poems! Here he very well says about the nature of fate. King or pauper fate controls all!

  • Michael Pruchnicki (4/29/2009 2:48:00 PM)

    We decide our fate by our actions. We can choose our goals and indeed must do so, because only by action in the world does one come to learn the fate that sits fast in the man (or woman, yes!) - 'fast' meaning that part of us which makes our very being possible. We can choose to slay our father's killer or not, as Hamlet could not because of his questioning and doubting as to the rightness of his cause. Laertes could take action because of his very nature. 'You wrong me and I will take my vengeance, ' Laertes says. Polonius could talk in fine-sounding generalities and offer advice, but he betrayed the trust of his own daughter when it came down to doing aomething. Queen Gertrude was a weak woman who fell sway to her passion for her brother-in-law. Even the murderous hand of Claudius worked to result in his own death when the poisoned rapiers were exchanged. In a sense, the only sense that matters, we each of us mold our own fortunes and reap the consequences of our choices, Emerson says as he agrees with the Bard himself.

  • Kevin Straw (4/29/2009 6:24:00 AM)

    This poem reasserts Shakespeare's 'There is a destiny that shapes our end'. You do not have to believe the idea to admire the poetry. The first lines: 'Deep in the man sits fast his fate/To mould his fortunes, mean or great...' are fine.

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